US announces new sanctions against Iran-backed militia groups 

The US Treasury Department has also sanctioned six individuals affiliated with the Iran-aligned militia group Kata’ib Hizballah (KH)…reports Asian Lite News

The United States has announced new sanctions against Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS) and its secretary-general, Hashim Finyan Rahim al-Saraji, designating them as ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorists’, The Times of Israel reported.

“KSS terrorist activity has threatened the lives of both US and Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS personnel in Iraq and Syria,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The US Treasury Department has also sanctioned six individuals affiliated with the Iran-aligned militia group Kata’ib Hizballah (KH), according to The Times of Israel.

“Iran, through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its external operations force known as the Qods Force, has supported KSS, KH, and other Iran-aligned militia groups with training, funding, and sophisticated weapons–including increasingly accurate and lethal unmanned aerial systems,” Blinken said.

“KSS, working at times with other US-designated organisations, including KH and Harakat al-Nujaba, has planned and supported attacks against US personnel.”

“Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. The United States remains committed to using all available tools to counter Iran’s support for terrorism and degrade and disrupt the ability of Iran-backed groups to conduct terrorist attacks,” Blinken added.

According to the latest update from an ongoing police investigation, the death toll from the Hamas massacre at the Re’im music festival on October 7 has been revised to 364, constituting nearly one-third of all those killed during the onslaught in Israel, The Times of Israel reported, citing Channel 12.

Surprisingly, the investigation reveals that 40 festival attendees were taken hostage in Gaza, providing new insights into the extent of the tragedy. Initial counts had pegged the death toll at Re’im at 270, indicating a significant increase in the revised figures.

The current assessment from the security establishment suggests that Hamas was allegedly unaware of the music festival leading up to the massacre, The Times of Israel reported, citing Channel 12’s reports.

As the investigation unfolds, these developments shed new light on the scale and complexity of the tragic event, emphasising the need for a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding the Hamas attack at the Re’im music festival.

Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that the IDF doesn’t plan to keep soldiers inside Gaza after the war, even if Israel will maintain security control over the Strip for the foreseeable future.

“I’m not sure of keeping troops inside. And in fact, it’s not particularly necessary because it’s very small,” Netanyahu told NPR.

As for who will govern Gaza after the war, “We need a cultural change in any civilian administration in Gaza. It can’t be committed to funding terrorism,” Netanyahu says, in a swipe at the Palestinian Authority.

He said that Israel will not be able to accept anyone who shares Hamas’ goals and the terror group’s inculcation of teaching Palestinian children that Israel has to be destroyed.

“For the foreseeable future, Israeli overall military responsibility. But there also has to be a civilian government there,” Netanyahu added, The Times of Israel reported.

ALSO READ: Hamas Signals Release of Israeli Hostages Soon

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